What Illness Does to a Writer

Quick comment: my laptop is very outdated and it can no longer update (we’re talking over 8 years old here). With that, I can’t fully access my wordpress on this thing anymore, so I can’t do anything with comments, sorry.

This may be a series of posts, simply because there’s a lot to say about such a topic. I may not do them much though since, obviously, illness effects my ability to write.

I’ve seen how illness effects a person’s ability to live a normal life. My in-home care clients wouldn’t need me if that weren’t the case. I may not need someone to do in-home care with me (at least not yet), but it still effects my ability to do much. For me though, the most devistating part is how much it takes away from my ability to write and draw.

I’m still able to do it, but not as well or as often as I used to.

Losing my ability to do this allows my depression to grow worse, feeling down and upset with myself for not being abl to accomplish what I want to or what I used to be able to do.
There are times when writing feels like a chore–my energy is drained, if there’s anything to even drain, and I have all the pain, nausea, dizziness, and other strange feelings distracting me on the side. Something that’s supposed to be fun or relaxing, even invigorating, becomes difficult with everything else in the background. I try to push through it, but there’s only so much I can push through.

Comparing how much I used to be able to write compared to now can feel depressing, sometimes inexcusable despite spending many hours sick when I’m not at work or trying to get things done.
I keep telling myself I can do it again, that I can be like that again, maybe even better, but part of it is trying to accept that that’s a time in the future, not right now.

It’s hard to think in the cloud of dizziness. Depression and anxiety with my living situation isn’t helping either, but that doesn’t slow me down as much. I’m forgetting and scrambling up words and I’m becoming more aware of this. People point it out to me too and sometimes have to help me.
Some doctors think it’s just stress, some say it’s a sign of my illnesses getting worse. Whatever the cause, it’s frustrating to be someone who struggles with something they’re supposed to specialize with.

There’s less than a week to finish three art pieces and write one more short story for the 2015 release of Progenitor.
At this point in time, I don’t care about getting in as much as I do getting at least one of each in. I want to get all three art pieces in, but at this point, that may be too big of a goal for me anymore.
I’ve been trying to push myself, but it’s been one distraction after another with everything getting worse.
I want to do it so I can take pride in myself for accomplishing that much. It’d be an achievement for me to at least get something out of me through this fog and weakness. It’s the same sense of accomplishment as taking your first shower or some other independent act since a surgery.

It did inspire the idea I needed for the short story and the art piece.I have just enough in me to write the short story. I don’t know about the art yet, but I’ve been drawing bits and pieces here and there when I’m able to. I do worry I won’t have it in me to finish it in time, but I am glad I got it about 75% of the way there.

It is such a relief to finally find that spark in me again. I almost want to cry from joy, but then I won’t be able to see to write it haha.

Whatever doesn’t get into the magazine, I’ll try and post. I dont’ know where I’ll be living at that time, but I’d just need internet long enough to post them.
I’m making progress in a permanent living situation, but it’s a matter of enduring until all the puzzle pieces fall into place and that there aren’t too many distractions. That’s a post for another day though.

I’m thinking a lot of this is the lupron shot they have me on, but it’s my last option and it’s not working. The doctors theorize that I’ve been weakened by this to where I’m too weak and at risk of damage to be operated on again. My only options were pregnancy and the shot, but I don’t want a child for 1001 reasons and I cant guarantee I’ll concieve if I try.
I do plan on looking for other doctors to confirm the whole too weak for surgery thing too.
It’s just their observation. How do they know my organs are too weak to endure surgery without tests and just by looking at me? Can they put an ICD-9 or an ICD-10 code to what is causing the weakness?

Until they can, I’m not giving up.

Since I’m having some symptoms in the “rare but serious” list of side effects, I may have to go to urgent care later today and that’s why I wanted to try getting this post out.
I want to write as much as I can of this story as I can until it’s time to decide. Whether I end up going or not doesn’t really matter, I just want to do this much.

I finally understand how my grandmother felt when I took care of her and why she did the things she did, and that’s where my inspiration for this story came from…

Scanner Available and Better Job Offer

Two great pieces of news that can only be topped by the fact I got two Barnes and Noble classics the other day.
The best gift to ever get a girl is a book she likes and her favorite food; she will thank you dearly once it’s in her hands and again once she’s finished reading it, which may take time, but rest assured, she will.

I got promised a job with an in-home care agency. I would need to bring them my ID and Social Security card and then I’ll start the training. It would pay better than Sam’s Club and be a lot easier on my body during this delicate time of treatment and diagnosis. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do my best with them, but I already have a good five years of experience with in-home care and my body is better fit for this. I’m more worried I’d lose my job and get accused of incompetence with a retail job because of my health conditions slowing me down, but luckily my friend’s parents would already rather I worked with the agency since they see I’m not physically fit to handle a retail job as well as other people in their early 20’s. They also offer CNA training, which would get me an extra 2-3 dollars per hour on top of what I’d already get. I may take up that offer, but they’re willing to take me on with the informal experience I already have.

As for the whole scanner thing, this would mean that I would be able to put up more art! Yay!
If my ex was able to make a buck or two off of selling a crummy doodle I did in his notebook with a ballpoint pen in less than a minute after posting it on ebay, I may be able to get some decent spare cash from drawings with effort. It’ll give some extra stuff for my website too. I’ll share what I can, but I also need to produce the art, which may take a little bit of time for when my schedule gets busy.
If I sell it, the photo of it won’t be as great or high of quality as the piece in person, mostly so that it’s more likely to be sold instead of downloaded. I can also start some other art projects I was hoping to do with other people.

This is going to be fun…

New Website (In Progress)

I apologize in advance if I seem to have a negative tone, I may have sprained my ankle slipping on ice this morning.

I wouldn’t say I’m moving, but my experimentation with wix.com for the Progenitor site took on a life of its own…

I’ll make the link available when it’s ready, but I’d like to have plenty of pieces available first.

In that regard, I may make artwork (graphite and characoal for sure) available for sale–the pieces will be priced to at least buy back materials used and cover shipping and handling on my end. Anything that isn’t submitted for contests and literary magazines will be made available. Even having the original advertized on the web during the time of submission can count as publication and automatically disqualify a piece from entry.
Since I need to work on pieces to submit for literary magazines and I’m stocking up on supplies for my Art Appreciation final, paintings may be available. I may not have thoroughly worked with paint in about five years, but I’m not expecting any art to even compare to Da Vinchi. Even if some say “it’s the internet, people wlil buy anything”, I don’t see it as an excuse to not put effort into what I create.
There’s a possibility I’ll work on short stories to sell individually for 99 cents no KDP, but I’d prefer they would be over 10,000 words to make it worth the money in length (having previews and blurbs available are always nice too). They’d be compiled into collections later, but that wouldn’t be until there’s enough to compile into a paperback.

Please feel free to share what you think. I’m curious to know what everyone thinks about purchasing art.
(I’ll try and offer concept work to present on this blog, but I currently don’t have anything with me. I put in the same amount of effort into the concept work as I do the original, even if the concept piece is oeftn smaller and on cheaper paper.)

Video Games, Novels, and Plot Structure—Great Writing Practice

Below is an example of a video game’s plot structure, specifically for games that have multiple endings.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0FJmNdovyvbaW44WERJMmliQk0/edit?usp=sharing

(If there are any link issues, please feel free to let me know.)

It’s not as complicated as it looks—it could be a bit shorter to still work and have some situations link together to narrow down the possible endings. This is just my personal template for a practice game plot. Since it should be available to edit for yourself, it’s free to use and I don’t expect credit. With how chaotic the format is, it can be confusing, so don’t blame yourself if it’s not as clear as a perfectly linear plot. It would probably be a lot clearer if there was a specific story in the template instead of numbers and letters to label them, but again, a plot for a multi-ending game isn’t as easy as that of a linear novel.

This is what I mean by the plot being a family tree. It’s also why I say this is such a difficult challenge. It is possible to narrow down to two endings instead of five, however, that is completely based on the context of the plot itself. Applying it to the idea of a family tree, a game over would be one sibling not having any children with the other having two or three.
One ending may be based on whether you can save the life of a character or which wire they decide to cut. The more interactive, the more options that the player is presented with, the more endings they can get, unless some have the same result as other options.

There’s a reason why I’m taking such an interest in this. I believe one of my weakest points is deciding plot. I often have ideas of what I want to happen, but don’t know if they will work or where I could squeeze them in to make sense.
In many games, there is what is called a “good end”, which is also sometimes called “the true end”. This is the “official” ending that the game developer wants the player to get. They get it the same way they can get any of the others: making specific choices and accomplishing the specific objectives.
I have different ends in mind. I also have a “true end” in mind, once I get far enough into the plot. As certain as I can be about what the true end will look like, I still need to decide how to get there. It’s the problem many writers have of just not knowing what’s in the middle of your beginning and end. That’s not a problem. It can be fixed. How? Seeing multiple options and understanding how to get there. The beginning isn’t Point A to Point B, It’s A to Z and you need to discover and decide on B-Y.

I can’t guarantee this structure can cure the issue. However, it has helped me and it’s possible it can help someone else.

Feel free to share your results. Did laying out the different outcomes helpful? Did you learn something about the plot or your characters you didn’t expect?

Thinking out Loud: Cellphones and Writing

This was originally typed on a cellphone. Pic msg 2 b exact lol XD!

I have had to write essays in the past like this–texting my email whenever I didn’t have internet access, copying and pasting together, editing and turning in. Naturally, I’ve gotten in trouble for it because my foster parents misunderstood. Well, now I text myself notes for writing if not little tidbits I’d edit in later. It’s not only helped me write my essays, but helped me improve my skills.

Since a text message only allows 150 letters/characters and a picture message 1,000, you’re very limited in what you can fit. Sure, you can send multiple, but that takes more time, money if you’re on a pre-paid plan and editing.

Try it, see how much you can say in a text message. It feels like a lot more than what it actually is. It helps you be more picky with word choice, helping to eliminate passive voice and wordiness.